Monday, February 15, 2010

A mile wide and an inch deep...

...that would be E.J. Dionne, in this morning's Chron...

But Republicans (and in retrospect, you can say this was shrewd politics) understood in 1994, as they do in 2010, that allowing these talented icon smashers (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama -- ed.) to govern differently and draw in members of their own party would be fatal to a GOP comeback.
So in Clinton’s case, Republicans voted to a person against his economic recovery plan that — combined with the first President Bush’s deficit-reduction moves — put the nation on the road to budget surpluses. Remember those? And then they killed Clinton’s health care plan.
Under Obama, Republicans have used precisely the same tactics without facing any criticism for a lack of originality. Obama’s stimulus bill got three Republican votes in the Senate — none in the House — and GOP lawmakers rail against it even as they claim credit for projects financed by a bill they opposed.
And the Republicans are doing all they can to make sure that Health Care 2.0 is ruined by the same political viruses that infected Health Care 1.0 under Clinton.

Once again, we have a liberal pundit trying to rewrite history. I don't understand how Bill Clinton and the Democrats tried to govern differently back in the early 1990s. They were for a more activist government just as Obama and his acolytes are. And it's widely acknowledged that Clinton's "assault weapons ban" was perhaps the key to the big Republican victories in 1994. I don't think it had anything to do with not allowing "icon smasher" Bill Clinton to govern differently. And I don't know what the hell Dionne is talking about here as he speaks of "political viruses that infected Health Care." The only viruses of which he speaks are inherent to the very idea of the Democrats' plans for health care -- more government regulation, more taxes, and under the latest plan a requirement to buy health insurance. (I guess that's certainly one way to achieve universal coverage...)

And as for "spend(ing) more energy trying to win over their enemies than in rallying their friends," you will also note that Dionne says nothing about the fact that Obama's friends are running scared from his health care plan because of their constituents' opposition to it. That seems to be the elephant in the room that he and his fellow lefty pundits don't want to acknowledge. I wonder why that is?